Sunday, December 05, 2004

Degrassi...The Realest Teen Show on TV

I probably have mentioned that I enjoy watching Degrassi: The Next Generation on The N. This show kind of snuck up on me. I didn't see it from the beginning, but it's become a show I like. I think the reason that my 23-year-old-soon-to-be-24-year-old self enjoys this show is because it's unflinching. The characters are likable but flawed. The dialogue feels overly complex Dawson Creek-esque soliloquies here. Things aren't wrapped up nicely at the end of each episode when bad stuff happens.

Take, for example, the current storyline involving a character named Rick. He used to be very troubled as he abused his girlfriend and put her into a coma. He left the school and got therapy and now is back there trying to start over. Because of what he did, when he returns, most of the characters cannot stand him. He's constantly harassed. Eventually, some characters befriend him. However, in a Carrie-like moment, he's doused with paint and feathers after he helps the school win a TV quiz show. He leaves the stage completely embarrassed and even tries to kiss a girl he mistakenly thought had feelings for him. At the end of that episode, he picks up a gun. I know what will happen in the next episodes (and I won't spoil), but the repercussions of that incident will change the show permanently. As much as I love watching The OC, I doubt that they would do something this intense.

I never really watched much of the original Degrassi shows. I remember seeing them on PBS back when I was a lot younger (I remember that the show's beginning ended with a strange close up). But I'm glad that today's generation of teens have a show to watch that is compelling, realistic, and one that does not talk down to them. It's a testament to the show's quality that someone my age (and older) can enjoy it too.

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